Abstraction Is Worth It – Jobs for Mathematicians

Precision, logic and analysis are some of their top skills: Mathematicians are used to working out clear results. Early practical experience is useful for optimizing your early career options. careerloft has a few tips for you.

Dealing with mathematical parameters takes talent – and diligence. What is it not? Working in silence. James Maynard (29) of Oxford University described this in his own words in an interview with weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT: “The image of a mathematician sitting along in their office working is wrong. Discussing things with colleagues is extremely important. We push ideas back and forth the entire time.” His research focuses on twin primes.

Mathematicians value complexity. Working with abstract figures at a high level has only one goal: provable findings. Mathematicians generally use their existing knowledge of methodology gained from pure and applied mathematics to find good jobs. Areas like numerics, statistics and insurance or financial mathematics are ripe for early application-specific specialization, even when budding mathematicians are still in school. In addition to research institutions, universities and schools, industry organizations have a range of jobs that are perfect for mathematicians: companies, banks, insurance companies, consulting firms and the IT sector, to name a few.

Unbeatable: math plus soft skills plus internships

After completing their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, mathematics graduates have excellent job prospects in nearly every technical and financial disciplines. The earlier they gain experience through internships, the better. After college they can work closely with fields like the sciences, computer science, technology and medicine. Sectors like data mining or biometrics as well as biostatistics show that interdisciplinary expertise is the way forward. And degree courses that embrace this have been around for a while. Examples? Biomathematics, applied mathematics in digital media (Mittweida University of Applied Sciences) or industrial mathematics (TU Berlin). Whether they want to go on to become a software engineering manager at Google, an actuary with an insurance company or a screenwriter, mathematicians have an advantage: The combination of knowledge plus soft skills like communication skills, team skills and good English language skills is great for any job.

There are currently around 360,000 people working in mathematics and science, and this figure is trending up (source: a report by the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) from March, 2016 about STEM jobs on the German labor market, entitled, “Der Arbeitsmarkt in Deutschland – MINT-Berufe”). According to figures from Stifterverband, women and experts from abroad are a scarce commodity. Experts like Dr. Ellen Walther-Klaus advocate for more international experience and expanding the purely academic career prospects surrounding STEM subjects. The CEO of the MINT Zukunft Schaffen” (“STEM – Shaping the Future”) herself studied mathematics, physics, computer science and philosophy. Her path first led to college, then to the private sector.

Pay – good for your bank account, too

Starting salaries for mathematicians start at around 3,000 euros per month, or just under 40,000 euros per year (source: academics). Insurance companies offer the best pay. Mathematicians can advance their careers particularly rapidly at consulting firms. Universities and research institutions offer lower salaries overall.

Graduates should consider earning a Master’s degree to maximize their earning potential. Careers in research require a Doctorate. Those with Doctorates can expect a starting salary in the private sector of 50,000 euros and up. Keep in mind, though, that this means mathematicians start their careers later. Doctorates take time, after all. Mathematicians make up 50 percent of Doctorate students in the STEM subjects (source: German Federal Statistical Office).

Your partner on your path to employment: careerloft

If your a mathematician about to graduate and are looking to break into the job market, careerloft is the right place for you. A Career Development Program membership offers you a real advantage with your studies and starting your career. We at careerloft know what’s going on with the economy and can help you start your career. We provide news about science and technology as well as exciting jobs for mathematicians – from internships to trainee programs.

With careerloft, you can participate in interesting webinars on current issues no matter where you are. We find you the perfect mentor from companies that can help you along your career path. We offer grants for school books as well as XING premium membership. As a careerloft member you’ll make valuable contacts – with other students, math graduates and employees at our partner companies. Curious? Take a look.

More info:

German Mathematical Society

Perspektive MINT.Wegweiser für MINT-Förderung und Karrieren in Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaften und Technik, report by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)